Hanjin is better off liquidated, PwC tells Korean court

Dive Brief:

  • Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers advised the South Korean court handling Hanjin's bankruptcy to liquidate the company, The Maritime Executive reported Tuesday.
  • Extensive claims against the bankrupt shipper exist within the U.S., including that of TRAC International, Sea Cube, and the Home Shopping Network, all of which are seeking back payment for goods or services. Hanjin retains assets of approximately $1.5 billion.
  • Though Hanjin was granted protection under Chapter 15 bankruptcy, attorneys representing U.S. creditors are citing the auditor's assessment as grounds for swift repayment, the Journal of Commerce reports.

Dive Insight:

At present, approximately 90% of its ships have been sold, and beginning in January, most of its staff will leave for Samra Midas Group, which owns the Korea Line.

Even if Hanjin somehow resuscitated itself, it would be forced to begin again even to the point of establishing a fresh operations base. In a trust driven, highly competitive container shipping world it's unlikely any alliance would take the downsized Hanjin, the Asian trade lanes are already very competitive, and the company has become a symbol for financial risk. PwC's assessment merely confirms what many had already concluded.

At one time Hanjin held 150 vessels, 70 global routes, and employed 5,000 employees around the globe, but it now appears sunk.

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Filed Under: Freight
Top image credit: Bill Abbott via Flickr